New play 'American Carnage' paints unsettling image of an A.I. future

Robots might quickly be driving your automotive, if not doing all of your laundry. Sometime, perhaps they’ll even write performs.

Within the meantime, we nonetheless have to depend on human dramatists to check what the rise of synthetic intelligence may imply for our future.

That’s a part of what Aimee Greenberg is making an attempt to do with “American Carnage: A Love Story,” a piece that has its world premiere on the Metropolis Heights Efficiency Annex this week.

Greenberg, an completed San Diego-space playwright and director, is staging the play by way of her personal firm, fruitlessmoon theatreworks. The piece is about across the twenty third century, and chronicles a dystopian world lorded over by a self-made emperor often known as Coleigula, or The Nice One, and populated by numerous types of synthetic intelligence.

Remnants of the previous human world, in the meantime, survive in a area often known as the Badlands.

The play’s principal character, referred to as YML, is sort of an experiment in and of himself,” Greenberg says. “A hybrid that goes mistaken — that turns into too human for consolation.”

“American Carnage” started to take form throughout final yr’s election cycle, after Greenberg had a picture of “this hybrid sort of being enjoying these video-fashion video games, the place he’s principally being advised to remove characters that he thinks aren’t even actual.

“He is advised they’re state actors or they’re pretend, and actually they are not” — they’re individuals focused for elimination within the Badlands.

Greenberg admits to a fascination with the effective line between the actual and robotic — the so-referred to as “uncanny valley,” the place androids begin to appear unsettlingly human.

“That’s an important a part of what I’m making an attempt to say and obtain, which is, how robotic are the human characters on this dystopian world, vs. how delicate and emotional can the factitious beings be?,” she says.

“And when senses are taken away, what occurs?”

If the story that unfolds within the eight-character play sounds each fantastical and fairly dire, its considerations aren’t thus far off from these voiced by observers such because the physicist Stephen Hawking, who has predicted we’ll sometime see “a brand new type of life that may outperform people” and will replicate itself.

As a lot as such prospects alarm her, Greenberg can’t assist however agree.

“I feel they’re going to be smarter than us, and I feel they’re going to be extra delicate than us,” she says. “We as a species are in all probability going to be phased out to a point. And there’s a unhappiness about that to me.

“But when they’re half-human,” as YML is, “I assume it’s simply the subsequent evolution.”

‘American Carnage: A Love Story’

When: Preview as we speak. Opens Friday. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays; eight p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. By way of Nov. 26.

The place: fruitlessmoon theatreworks on the Metropolis Heights Efficiency Annex, 3795 Fairmount Ave., Metropolis Heights.

Tickets: $20 ($15 college students/seniors)

Telephone: (949) 246-1698


Twitter: @jimhebert

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